A light blue book with a green stamp and white silhouettes of a man and a woman, back-to-back

Beyond The Music: How Punks are Saving the World with DIY Ethics, Skills, & Values

by Joe Biel Editor

Exploring the cultural practices of punk

Punk is notorious for its loud music, aggressive attitude, and safety-pinned style. Less well known is the radical value system that has emerged hand in hand with the sound and aesthetic. Since the 1970s, punks have built their music, fashion, and lifestyles around core values of social justice, creative freedom, community integrity, fiercely democratic politics and do-it-yourself ingenuity. From journalism to psychology, graphic design to alternative fuel, bodybuilding to the Occupy movement, these interviews show just some of the ways that punk values continue to shape mainstream American life.

Includes interviews with (among many others) Ian Mackaye, Nate Powell, Cristy Road, Ben Weasel, Brea Grant, Joshua Kahn Russell, Wells Tower, Sander Hicks, Anne Elizabeth Moore, and Chris Clavin, and an afterword by Mark Andersen of Positive Force DC.

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Comments & Reviews


"this is what punk rock is all about—using the tools we learned in punk rock to make the world a better place."

Steve Hart - Razorcake


After reading this book, one feels an incredible urge to go out there and pursue that one project you've always thought you'd be good at. After all, that's what punk rock is about.


"Like a long car ride with your Uncle Hank."

Mitch Lillie, Willamette Week


The longest passive aggressive dishwashing note of all time.


"a whole smattering of punks from vegan chefs (Joshua Ploeg) to polarizing pundits (Ben Weasel) are given a forum to relate their stories and philosophies. Some may be unfamiliar to you, some may be household names in your home, but there's something to glean from all of them, be it inspirational and/or informational"

Chris Auman, Reglar Wiglar Magazine


"It is a superbly edited collection of manifestos in chat form, and includes many of the musicians who actually have something to say, as much as play. "

-KEXP Blog


"The most expansive, intuitive, most up to date contemporary multi-voice commentary on the topic I've read. I really appreciate [the] hard work in editing, writing, and making it look so great. It's outstanding work!"


"Interviewing an actress, bicyclist, Catholic Worker, chef, chocolatier, Cuban-American fan of Green Day, Fulbright Scholar working for Cambodia, a psychologist specializing in males, and lots of graphic designers, printers, and publishers, Joe Biel reveals the range of those who use the mechanisms of punk’s self-motivated and communally based ethos to change our world by action."

John L. Murphy, Pop Matters


"Awesome little guide!"

-Utne Reader


"Rough and elegant . . . sincere and passionate."

-Pop Matters


"A digestible read for anyone, whether you're already immersed in a cut-and-paste world, a graphic designer with a penchant for radical thought, or a newbie trying to find the best way to make yourself and your ideas known. You'll gain insight into your practice, find some new ideas, or get the motivation for which you've been waiting."

-Feminist Review


"I do believe in the DIY ethic, and I love the idea of documenting our own communities. These people are cute and dorky and earnest and I'm sure their lives are interesting."

-Nomy Lamm, musician and activist